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12/08/2006: "Another Killer Excused...."
In another instance of automobilism über alles, Jennifer Stark of Urbana, Illinois, received a "sentence" of unsupervised probation and a $1,000 fine for killing bicyclist Matthew Wilhelm recently. Stark had been convicted twice of speeding and once of running a red light in the previous year and a half. From the News-Gazette:
The 25-year-old former Champaign resident, a University of Illinois mechanical engineering graduate working for Caterpillar in Peoria, [Wilhelm] died on Sept. 8 from head injuries he received Sept. 2 when Stark hit him with her car because she was downloading ring tones to her cell phone instead of paying attention to driving.

Mr. Wilhelm was bicycling north on Illinois 130 east of Urbana when he was struck from behind about 7:15 p.m. Stark was so far off the road that she hit Mr. Wilhelm from behind with the driver's side of her car. He was wearing a helmet.
Matthew's mother noted that prosecutor Julia Rietz "said it would be hard to prosecute 'willful and wanton' (behavior) and the driver could have 'no reasonable expectation of a bike on the side of the road,' yet every single time we visited the accident site we saw bikers and joggers in the area."

The arrogance of false entitlement in cagers is boundless , it seems. Hell, they can destroy the entire planet for their convenience, indulge in wars, prop up dictators, why not kill a few non-drivers when they get in the way?

I myself had to take extreme evasive action this morning to avoid being creamed by a left-turning bimbo with a cellphone jammed in her ear, and I have narrowly avoided two other accidents in the last couple of months with SUVs whose cell-phone-blithering imbecile drivers barreled into left turns without even slowing down; both those latter would have been most likely fatal, and one narrowly missed my wife who was riding behind me. Fortunately today's idiot did not get a running start into the intersection.

Drivers suck up torrents of public money while fancying themselves "free" and "independent" as they sit in traffic on those wide roads and ramps that return no property tax to the community, and deride those who take care of what's left of the world for them.

Obsessive automobilism is an aggressive and dangerous disease.

Delanoe, the mayor of Paris, recently noted that drivers make up one-quarter of his city's road users but take up 95% of road space. Not to mention what they take up of lung space! In the US, automotive infrastructure covers up to 70% of the land surface of many cities, and more in the west. Most cities here have grown larger even while losing population; all that growth is supported by a mandated subsidy of car use, and by the death and disease and social fragmentation it brings about.

How much road space do bikes need? How many people do they crush or ram or poison?

How dare they treat our lives so lightly, on the road or in court....

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